Sunday Dinner {take two}

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Triple Ginger Layer Cake
Cinnamon Ice Cream

Sunday Dinner {take two}??  My parents are on the road today heading South for the winter, so we shared a "Sunday dinner" with them last night for one more get together.  But, I made sure to make enough for us to have tonight, hence the {take two}.  The whole meal was delicious, but we were so busy visiting, sharing, laughing, and crying (miss you Mom and Dad), I only took a picture of the cake.  Since tonight will be a little more laid back, I will fry up some fresh fish and toss a fresh salad and snap a few photos to share recipes down the road.

I haven't made this cake in over seven years.  As good as it was then, I knew that a few changes would really make this cake shine.  My two major changes were in the triple ginger and the texture.  I didn't understand how it could be called triple ginger when there were only two types of ginger.  Wanting to stay true to the name, I substituted some of the ground ginger for fresh, giving it a real ginger taste.  The addition of fresh ginger serves to increase the amount of sugar without making it too sweet.  As far as texture, the original recipe was very dense.  With the thick cream cheese frosting, I wanted something a little lighter.  So, I added an extra egg and increased the baking soda slightly for a fluffy and tender texture.

I am not usually a fan of the classic cake and ice cream combo, but after one bite last night, I headed to the freezer for a container of ice cream-- boy was that good!  I am not happy that I won't see my parents for some time, but I am happy that there is enough cake and ice cream leftover for us to have tonight.

Triple Ginger Layer Cake
serves 10-12

For the Cake
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (6-ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk at room temperature
1 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger 

For the Frosting
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4-ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, divided

Cinnamon Ice Cream

For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the fresh ginger.  Mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk in three additions.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until the batter is smooth.  Fold in the crystallized ginger.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 minutes.  Transfer the cakes to wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and lemon zest; beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/4 cup of the crystallized ginger.  

To assemble
Place one cake layer on a serving platter.  Spread 1 cup of the frosting over top.  Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting.  Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle the remaining crystallized ginger on top of the cake.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2001


  1. wow! what a fantastic meal - that ginger cake looks amazing and the changes you made sound perfect. Lucky Mom and Dad - I bet they wished they were staying longer with wonderful meals like this:)
    Mary x

  2. I made this cake on Friday and, seriously, it is unbelievably delicious. Based on suggestions from epicurious, I added 1/4 cup of sour cream, and like you I added in some fresh ginger. I think these made a real difference, as it had a deep ginger flavour and a fantastic texture.

  3. It was truly a beautiful dinner. Dad and I had a wonderful time. The gumbo put a smile on my face, making me remember all of the Thanksgivings when the turkey stock for the gumbo was started before we even sat down for dinner. The cake was the perfect ending to a perfect evening. Miss you, too!

  4. Hi

    How much ground ginger is in the cake batter, you mention it in the instructions but not in the ingredient list.

  5. Jackie-
    Thanks for pointing that out. I had it in the instructions, but not the list.

  6. I LOVE ginger… so this looks to-die-for!!!!!


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